What does yoga mean to you? How does it make you feel?
Open? Relaxed? Stretched? Calm? What about happy? Free? Strong? Empowered? Independent? Liberated? Maybe even rebellious?
To me it’s all those things, even rebellious – when the norm is to keep your head down, keep your emotions to yourself and fit into one of the boxes that daily life puts you in, I prefer to hold my head high, tell people how I feel and open up to the world, and I’ll be damned if anyone is putting me in a box!
Wife, daughter, commuter, 25-35, white, female, Digital Marketer, even yoga teacher… Yeah sure I’m all those things but I’m also generally pretty happy, geeky about Star Wars, obsessed with Cher, a lover of pink neon and glittery things, a fan of peanut butter, a beer drinker, a dreamer, excited, amazed, inspired, anxious, nervous and scared – sometimes all in the same five minutes!
Yoga gives me the independence and freedom to be the person I am – not the person I want to be, because the person I want to be is actually already there – it’s just about breaking through societal norms of how I should and shouldn’t act to get there.
I once got told at work I was too ‘unprofessional’ – not once have I delivered work late, upset a client, failed to deliver above standard, insulted a co-worker, boss or anyone else – I am actually very hard working, conscientious, thoughtful and professional.
What did they mean? I speak my mind. I challenge the status quo, I say if I think something is unfair, I am honest and true.
So what they really meant was – I wasn’t just sitting nicely in the box they had provided for me – I was thinking outside it and they didn’t like that.
Yoga poses can teach us to be free, open to new experiences, they let us open our heart, clear our minds and express ourselves through our bodies. Yoga teaches us that our bodies are all different, that there is no right or wrong, no perfect or imperfect – just beauty in all it’s amazing form. Beauty, individuality, freedom and expression.
In a world full of screens, distractions, adverts and pressure it teaches us to rebel against the norm and switch OFF.
From that we can liberate ourselves from the confines of the mind – from the ‘narrative’ that says you ‘should’ or ‘should not’.
We learn to relinquish our grip on the co-dependence of the ‘global community’, the ‘likes’, the ‘shares’ and the ‘followers’ that we but so much value on – and in turn we can lead a blissfuly independent life.
And then from that we become free.
The power of yoga – or union – the mind and body connection… it’s a beautiful thing and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.